We come to you in eager pilgrimage.
We come as part of a great throng of pilgrims
who through the centuries have come to this place,
where you are pilgrim and host, apostle and patron.
We come to you today
because we are on a common journey.
Place yourself, patron of pilgrims,
at the head of our pilgrimage.
Teach us, apostle and friend of the Lord,
the WAY which leads to him.
Open us, preacher of the Gospel,
to the TRUTH you learned from your Master’s lips.
Give us, witness of the faith,
the strength always to love the LIFE Christ gives.
We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.
The Sons of Thunder (Luke 9:51-56)
When the days for his being taken up were fulfilled, Jesus resolutely determined to journey to Jerusalem, and he sent messengers ahead of him. On the way they entered a Samaritan village to prepare for his reception there, but they would not welcome him because the destination of his journey was Jerusalem. When the disciples James and John saw this they asked, “Lord, do you want us to call down fire from heaven to consume them?” Jesus turned and rebuked them, and they journeyed to another village.
Jesus gave Simon a special name – “Peter.” Jesus also gives James and John a special name, “Boanerges,” which means “sons of thunder” (Mark 3:17). Scripture scholars tell us that the giving of a new name is a sign of an inner transformation: think of Abram, who became Abraham, and Jacob, who became Israel. James and John must have been full of zeal for the Kingdom to receive a name like “sons of thunder.”
We get a glimpse of that zeal for the Lord’s work in this passage from Luke. When the people of one town refuse to welcome Jesus, James and John offer to “call down fire from heaven,” to destroy them as Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed when they refused to receive the Lord. But Jesus “rebukes” them. That is not the way of the Kingdom. Jesus invites, but he does not command, and his disciples are to do the same. How do we respond to rejection? With the “thunder” of James, or with the peace of Christ?
More on James the Greater novena click here